Judgment No. 3975
The complaint is dismissed.
The complainants, the successors of a former official of the EPO who passed away, filed a complaint with the Tribunal, considering that there has been an implied decision to reject his internal appeals.
summary procedure; iloat statute; complaint dismissed
The Tribunal’s case law makes it clear that where the Administration takes any action to deal with a claim, by forwarding it to the competent authority for example, this step in itself constitutes a “decision upon [the] claim” within the meaning of Article VII, paragraph 3, of the Statute, which forestalls an implied rejection that could be referred to the Tribunal (see, for example, Judgments 3428, consideration 18, and 3146, consideration 12).
ILOAT reference: Article VII, paragraph 3, of the Statute
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3146, 3428
direct appeal to tribunal; iloat statute
Although the amount of time that the EPO has taken to process these internal appeals appears, prima facie, to be excessively long, the Tribunal notes that the public delivery on 30 November 2016 of Judgment 3785, dealing with the composition of the Appeals Committee, may well account for the fact that the complainants did not receive a final decision at the end of 2016. Indeed, given the finding of the Tribunal that the Appeals Committee was not composed in accordance with the applicable rules, a final decision could not have been based on the opinion of the Appeals Committee in relation to the internal appeals.
Jugement(s) TAOIT: 3785
delay in internal procedure